Tests, competitions, and exams burdening students
  • | VietNamNet | April 28, 2011 10:16 AM

A lot of tests, semester exams and competitions from the school to the national levels have been putting a hard pressure on primary school students.

The headmaster of a primary school calculates that in every academic year, besides periodic tests, students have to sit more than 10 other competitions, including the competitions for excellent students, the online mathematics and English, the competitions on writing, painting, the competitions on telling stories, sports, and arts. Especially, there are many similar competitions, which “gobble up” all spare time of students.

The “you must be excellent” pressure

English Olympiad for primary school students is taking place in Hanoi, which gathers up to 1000 students. The students have to go through many different competition rounds in order to enter the final round. The organization board says that the competition serves as a good opportunity for students to heighten their self-confidence in an international learning and communication environment.

Nevertheless, the competition has been burdening many families. A lot of parents have to stay off work to learn with children and bring them to training classes and to the competition rounds.

A parent, who has a son studying at TV School, said that the child’s competition has cost him a lot of time and effort. The son and his friends not only attend training lessons provided by the school, but also go to private tutoring classes. “I have to pay 200,000 dong per every tutoring hour,” he said.

Another parent related that his daughter once had to sit for three shifts of learning English one day, but she still failed to enter the final round. “She felt so sad and cried because of the failure,” the parent said.

A lot of people witnessed a young mother insulting her daughter, a student of DK primary school in Hanoi, continuously when the girl came out from the competition for excellent students and said to her mother that she did not do well with the test.

“She has been going to the classes for the gifted since she was small. Therefore, she must not be bad at the exams,” the mother said.

In order to gain high results at the competition for excellent primary school students, a mother related that she has to prepare for the competition together with the son every day until 11 pm. “If he does not get any prizes, we will feel ashamed,” the mother said.

Too many competitions burdening students

N.V, a teacher of a primary school in the Go Vap District in HCM City, lists the competitions students can experience during one academic year. The English eloquence contest, painting competition regularly come at the beginning of academic year. The competition on traffic safety knowledge and sports competition come in every October. After that, students can attend a sports competition on the occasion of the Vietnam Sports Day March 27. From March, there are a series of competitions on the occasion of the Youth Union’s establishment anniversary.

In principle, students do not have to attend the contests if they do not want. However, school leaders always decide that their schools must join the activities. The schools, which gain high prizes at the competitions, will be honored, therefore, all of them want try to gain as many achievements as possible.

The problem is that there are too many similar contests initiated from the same ideas. Besides, students are also asked to attend many other competitions organized by dairy producers and manufacturers to advertise their products.

Under the current regulations, there is only one national competition for 12th excellent students held every year. However, in fact, in many localities, competitions for small students are also organized in order to select the best students for the schools.

A headmaster of a primary school in District 5 in HCM City complained that since good students have to attend too many exams and competitions, they do not have time to attend other extracurricular activities.

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